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On 22 February 1908, the steam vessel 'Harold' was caught in rough seas off the coast of Anglesey. As its engines failed and conditions worsened, Holyhead’s lifeboat was called on for assistance. The 'Duke of Northumberland' sailed for two hours in these treacherous waters, helmed by Coxswain William Owen.

The coxswain expertly manoeuvred the lifeboat near enough to establish a line between the two vessels. Six men escaped Harold across the line, while three more were able to jump to safety. For his skill and bravery, William Owen was awarded the Gold Medal of the RNLI, its highest honour.

The medal and certificate were donated to the museum by William Owen’s great-great-grandson, on the centenary of the rescue in 2008.

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